In the Wake of Kaufman Slayings, Dallas County Prosecutors Encouraged to Ammo Up
First Assistant DA Heath Harris speaking to reporters about increased security measures at his office.
The murder this weekend of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, two months after assistant DA Mark Hasse was gunned down in broad daylight, has Texas prosecutors on high alert.
The Associated Press reports today that district attorneys throughout the state are taking extra precautions as they head back to work after the Easter weekend. In Houston, Harris County DA Mike Anderson and his family now have round-the-clock security and is looking at how to beef up security at the office.
District Attorney Craig Watkins does not yet have a personal body guard, at least not so far as we can tell. At a press conference today, first assistant DA Heath Harris provided few specifics about efforts to protect Watkins and his staff, citing security concerns.
"Clearly being the first African American district attorney in the state of Texas, we've always had those concerns for DA Watkins," Harris said, according to the Morning News. "We will be heightening our security around him."
County Judge Clay Jenkins, in Austin today for a news conference advocating for Medicaid expansion, confirmed as much but also declined to provide detail. The only two tidbits we have are Harris' statement that his office will "encourage" its employees to obtain a license and carry concealed weapons.
Watkins himself didn't appear at the news conference. He's been keeping a low-profile since the imbroglio over the Al Hill case and likely wanted to avoid making pronouncements about the Kaufman County case. We know how that went last time.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.